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Sunday, Jan 20, 2019
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Tom Lee settles on future: He will seek re-election to the Florida Senate

Sen. Tom Lee, who earlier this year flirted with runs for Congress and state chief financial officer and even an exit from elected office, announced Wednesday he will seek re-election.

The Thonotosassa Republican thanked incoming Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, for "his encouragement and his support of my candidacy."

Lee's announcement came as qualifying for legislative races is poised to start at noon Monday and run until noon June 22. Lee, a vice president of Sabal Homes of Florida, served as Senate president in 2005 and 2006.

After leaving the Senate because of term limits, he returned in 2012. He said earlier this year he was contemplating his political future while attempting to balance family and political aspirations.

Lee hasn't raised any money for his campaign account since January, and his former political committee, known as The Conservative, disbanded in May before he announced he wouldn't run to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross.

Lee's Senate District 20 seat represents parts of Hillsborough, Polk and Pasco counties. Republican John Houman of Thonotosassa and Democrats Joy Ellen Gibson of Tampa and Kathy Lynn Lewis of Wesley Chapel have opened campaign accounts to run for the seat.

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